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Yonin Bayashi - Isshoku-Sokuhatsu CD (album) cover


Yonin Bayashi


Eclectic Prog

4.03 | 68 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Japanese prog have been very dear to me ever since I bought an album a band called PYG. They released one studio album and one live, alongside some singles. I was at purchasing the album first and foremost intrigued by the cover, a sort of naively drawn pig. It all looked tempting and it felt right at the time. And it was right, for the most part. A dreamy sort of soft, western sounding prog which really attracted me. The japanese lyrics was simply gorgeous. (I do not speak japanese, so I am only referiing to the melody and Beauty of the language.) Apart from bringing me pleasure it also brought me a certain amount of misunderstanding concerning the very eclectic nature of japanese prog. PYG was, as it were, not represantatives of japanese prog in general, simply their own. This all seems very naive today and I sort look down when I tell the story but it proves a point, I think, that, no matter the origin of prog it always puts forth a slab of their own native spice. The harshness of Flower Travelling Band, the interstellar cosmic sounds of Far East Family Band, the bluesy prog of Strawberry Path or the synthesized sound of Isao Tomita. It is all very grand, exciting and enjoyable.

However... One of my personal favorites among japanese or any prog is "Isshoku-Sokuhatsu" by Yonin Bayashi, a by then young band with a vision of their own. I suppose they lent an ear or two to bands like Deep Purple but that never stopped them from creating an album very much a product of themselves and their musical ability. (Why Deep Purple? Well, the main reason for such a name-dropping is due to the extensive use of the organ in as many a way as Lord ever did.) At the heart of it the Music is really melodious and spacious, leaving lots of room for improvisation. The interplay between the musicians is really something to marvel at. The music, especially in the two longest tracks, is built around different sections and are very much a platform for instrumental excursions.

While "Hamabeth" is the intro and really nothing more, "Sora To Kumo" is a softer offering welcoming the listener. A good track and I enjoy it very much.

"Omatsuri" is a gentle piece at first glance but is really a forum for all kinds of influences. Jazz, hard rock and even some latin, nonetheless. It builds and flows to and fro in a really splendid manner. The sweet and gentle guitar playing is like a warm coat in the winter. It is an impressive track.

The best track is "Isshoku-Sokuhatsu", the title track. It starts off in a similar way as "Omatsuri" but transforms during it's course into avant-garde before setting sail towards Hard Rock Ocean before harbouring in Prog Rock Bay. The instrumentation on this track is marvellous, It is tightly performed and highly skilled.

The last track, opening with a ping pong ball, is an instrumental piece which really sums up the album in the best possible way. Really symphonic, the mellotron adds to it all and it is very enjoyable.

In conclusion I'd say that Isshoku-Sokuhatsu is a very intriguing album. It is jazz-rock, prog and symphonic tossed around in a bowler hat and spilled out on the table, forming glorious patterns of musical wonder. I think that this album should be listened to by more people. Having a hard time with the japanese lyrics? Oh, never mind those. Look at it as just Another instrument and you'll have a blast.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |


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